Marking The Moment!
By Stephen L Doherty
“When moments are marked,
memories are made.” –Robert Crosby
“Braden Thomas Doherty!”
When my sons name was called and he was handed his college diploma from the University of Colorado yesterday, my emotions ran the gamut. Pride. Joy. Happiness. Relief. You name it – even a little sadness and regret knowing that one never truly appreciates nor understands the significance of a life chapter ending until it’s been filtered through decades of living. I told my son to take an extra day in Boulder and drive or walk around the town and campus, breathe in the special air of this magnificent place and mark the moment, not just in his mind, but also his soul. For like the famous Seals and Crofts song reminds us, “We may never pass this way again..”
Let’s face it. Even the best life is comprised of mostly forgettable moments. Even great experiences are mostly forgettable and only occasionally remarkable. Not because life isn’t good, but rather because the vast majority of life is mundane and routine. It just IS! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my life, I truly do. I am blessed with the only trifecta that matters; great friends, family that loves me, and relatively good health. Beyond that? I treasure opportunities to blow up the mundane with the exciting and unpredictable! Sometimes “marking the moment” is automatic and inflicted upon us like a moon landing or a President being assassinated or a local sports team winning a world championship. Most of us can remember exactly where we were and who we were with due to the significance and magnitude of those moments. The imprint of such events is deep and lasting as much for their rarity as their significance.
“Marking the moment” is a dramatic technique in film making used to highlight a key moment in a scene or improvisation. This can be done in a number of different ways: for example through slow-motion, a freeze-frame, narration, thought-tracking or music. In life, it is so critical to have enough self awareness to recognize when such moments are occuring and to mark them in our minds for posterity. To plant a flag. To build a mental altar. To commemorate and memorialize those truly phenomenal moments worthy of hanging in that special mental hallway we all possess. Transitions should be marked, milestones commemorated, and pits filled. That’s the essence of thinking in epic moments, which are only strengthened when shared with those we love.
I also believe there’s an art to taking something special and elevating it to something epic. My kids have some terrific memories that began as something ordinary only to be converted into something remarkable because we refused to accept what was and demanded a larger role in what could be. This isn’t to suggest that every moment is worthy of a contrived contortion to force a moment into something it isn’t. Rather, it is like a surfer looking out and seeing that special wave emerging far from shore-and then positioning themselves properly to fully seize that rare moment of exhiliration! Life has many such opportunities to convert the “normal and expected” into the “surprising and spectacular” if we only allow ourselves to see the world around us as an ongoing opportunity to spike the ball. Just by disrupting our routines, we can create more of these peaks.
Life is about creating as many memorable moments as we can. Not just letting them happen, but being intentional about it. To take the time to build these memories. To experience the lovely, rare and glorious aspects of life on this planet, big and small, and to experience them together – especially with the ones we love. That should be our mission. That should be our purpose. That should be more than enough reason to make each and every day an adventure worth showing up for. Life is short, and if we enjoy every moment of every day, then we will be happy no matter what happens or what changes along the way..
“I want to take all our best moments, put them in a jar,
and take them out like cookies and savor each one of them forever.”